Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Obama's proposed moves to implement "Indefinite Detention" for thought crimes as judged by a separate legal system is appalling and shameful.
I believe that the grander the setting and the more colourful the pomp of a political announcement then the more suspicious we need to be.
Monday, May 25, 2009
Watch the Inspector General squirm! Watch the Congressman splutter! See the spin doctor advise from afar! Roll Up Roll Up!
I'm going to pretend it's not serious and recommend this as reasonably amusing.
Update: Daily Markets has a transcript. Here's the video on youtube:
Sunday, May 24, 2009
"The Commonwealth is building 20,000 new affordable homes across the country as part of its $6.5 billion stimulus housing package. The newly built four-bedroom house in Sydney has been opened to the media."
Friday, May 15, 2009
The hand wringing, scurrying to pay back and sacrificial goats are now littering the field in rank mounds.
The British Daily Telegraph is providing indepth coverage through stories such as the "Full list of MPs investigated by the Telegraph". Disgustingly, it's a long list. Feel free to imagine the name of any of the politicians that steal from you doing just the same thing.
For posterity and your amusement (?), here it is (btw there are 82 people on the list):
Gerry Adams, Martin McGuinness, Michelle Gildernew, Pat Doherty and Conor Murphy claimed more than £500,000 over five years even though the Sinn Fein MPs refuse to attend ParliamentDouglas Alexander spent more than £30,000 doing up his constituency home – which then suffered damage in a house fire.
Michael Ancram put the cost of having his swimming pool boiler serviced on his parliamentary allowances. He has agreed to repay the money
James Arbuthnot claimed from the public finances for cleaning his swimming pool at a country residence. He has agreed to repay the money
Vera Baird claimed the cost of Christmas tree decorations
Norman Baker asked if he could claim for a bicycle and a computer so he could listen to music and email family and friends
Greg Barker made a £320,000 profit selling a flat the taxpayer had helped pay for
Margaret Beckett made a £600 claim for hanging baskets and pot plants
Tony Blair re-mortgaged his constituency home and claimed almost a third of the interest around the time he was buying another property in London
Ben Bradshaw used his allowance to pay the mortgage interest on a flat he owned jointly with his boyfriend
Kevin Brennan had a £450 television delivered to his family home in Cardiff even though he reclaimed the money back on his London second home allowance
Gordon Brown's house swap let the PM claim thousands
Andy Burnham had an eight-month battle with the fees office after making a single expenses claim for more than £16,500
Stephen Byers claimed more than £125,000 for repairs and maintenance at a London flat owned outright by his partner, where he lives rent-free
Vince Cable forgoes the second home allowance, but asked whether he could claim backdated payments of the London supplement instead
Menzies Campbell hired a top interior designer to refurbish his small flat in central London at taxpayers’ expense. He will repay the £1,490.66 cost of an interior designer
Ronnie Campbell claimed a total of £87,729 for furniture for his London flat
Kenneth Clarke managed to avoid paying the full rate of council tax on either of his two homes by effectively claiming that neither is his main residence. He has agreed to pay the full rate in future but defended his past behaviour.
Nick Clegg claimed the maximum allowed under his parliamentary second home allowance
Harry Cohen claimed thousands of pounds for redecorating his second home before selling it and charging taxpayers £12,000 in stamp duty and fees on a new property
Stephen Crabb claimed his “main home” was a room in another MP’s flat, after buying a new house for his family at taxpayers’ expense
Alistair Darling's stamp duty was paid by the public
David Davis spent more than £10,000 of taxpayers’ money on home improvements in four years, including a new £5,700 portico at his home in Yorkshire.
Pat Doherty, Gerry Adams, Martin McGuinness, Michelle Gildernew and Conor Murphy claimed more than £500,000 over five years even though the Sinn Fein MPs refuse to attend Parliament
Alan Duncan spent thousands from his allowance on gardening, including repairs to his lawnmower. He has agreed to repay £5,000
Caroline Flint claimed £14,000 for fees for new flat
Barbara Follett used £25,000 of taxpayers' money to pay for private security patrols at her home
Andrew George used parliamentary expenses for a London flat used by his student daughter. He also claimed hundreds of pounds for hotel stays with his wife. He has said he will repay £20 for a hotel breakfast
Michelle Gildernew, Pat Doherty, Gerry Adams, Martin McGuinness, and Conor Murphy claimed more than £500,000 over five years even though the Sinn Fein MPs refuse to attend Parliament
Julia Goldsworthy spent thousands of pounds on expensive furniture just days before the deadline for using up parliamentary allowances. She has promised to pay back £1,005 for a leather rocking chair
John Gummer's gardening, including the removal of moles from his lawn, cost the taxpayer £9,000
Fabian Hamilton declared his mother’s London house as his main residence while over-charging the taxpayer by thousands of pounds for a mortgage on his family home in Leeds
Nick Harvey had to be reminded twice by parliamentary officials to submit receipts with his expenses claims
Alan Haselhurst charged the taxpayer almost £12,000 for gardening bills at his farmhouse in Essex, his expenses claims show.
David Heathcoat-Amory’s gardener used hundreds of sacks of horse manure and the MP submitted the receipts to Parliament
Nick Herbert charged taxpayers more than £10,000 for stamp duty and fees when he and his partner bought a home together in his constituency
Douglas Hogg included with his expenses claims the cost of having the moat cleared, piano tuned and stable lights fixed at his country manor house. He has agreed to repay £2,200 for the moat clearing
Geoff Hoon established a property empire worth £1.7 million after claiming taxpayer-funded expenses for at least two properties
Kelvin Hopkins claims just a fraction of the available second-home allowance by taking the train to Westminster from his home town
Chris Huhne regularly submits receipts for bus tickets and groceries including pints of milk, fluffy dusters, lavatory rolls and chocolate HobNobs. He has promised to pay back £119 for a trouser press
Stewart Jackson claimed more than £66,000 for his family home, including hundreds of pounds on refurbishing his swimming pool. He has agreed to repay the costs associated with his pool
Julie Kirkbride's husband Andrew Mackay resigned as David Cameron's aide after it emerged that the two MPs were making claims that meant they effectively had no main home but two second homes, both funded with public money.
Lord Mandelson faces questions over the timing of his house claim which came after he had announced he would step down
Andrew Mackay resigned as David Cameron's aide after it emerged that he and his wife Julie Kirkbride were making claims that meant they effectively had no main home but two second homes, both funded with public money.
Bob Marshall-Andrews claimed £118,000 for expenses at his second home, including stereo equipment, extensive redecoration and a pair of Kenyan carpets.
John Maples declared a private members’ club as his main home to the parliamentary authorities
Michael Martin used taxpayers' money to pay for chauffeur-driven cars to his local job centre and Celtic's football ground
Francis Maude claimed almost £35,000 in two years for mortgage interest payments on a London flat when he owned a house just a few hundred yards away. He has agreed to stop claiming for a second home
Martin McGuinness, Michelle Gildernew, Pat Doherty, Gerry Adams and Conor Murphy claimed more than £500,000 over five years even though the Sinn Fein MPs refuse to attend Parliament
David Miliband's spending was queried by his gardener
Margaret Moran switched the address of her second home, allowing her to claim £22,500 to fix a dry rot problem. She has agreed to repay the money while insisting she acted within the rules. She could face an investigation for allegedly using Commons stationery to keep neighbours away from her fourth property in Spain.
Elliot Morley claimed parliamentary expenses of more than £16,000 for a mortgage which had already been paid off
Conor Murphy, Martin McGuinness, Michelle Gildernew, Pat Doherty and Gerry Adams claimed more than £500,000 over five years even though the Sinn Fein MPs refuse to attend Parliament
Paul Murphy had a new plumbing system installed at taxpayers’ expense because the water in the old one was “too hot”
Lembit Opik had to pay £2,499 for a 42-inch plasma television after purchasing it while Parliament was dissolved
John Prescott claimed for two lavatory seats in two years
Alan Reid claimed more than £1,500 on his parliamentary expenses for staying in hotels and bed-and-breakfasts near his home
John Reid used his allowance to pay for slotted spoons, an ironing board and a glittery loo seat
Angus Robertson successfully appealed to the fees office when they turned down his claim for a £400 home cinema system
Alex Salmond claimed £400 per month for food when the Commons was not even sitting
Michael Spicer claimed for work on his helipad and received thousands of pounds for gardening bills.
Jack Straw only paid half the amount of council tax that he claimed on his parliamentary allowances over four years but later rectified the over-claim
Don Touhig spent thousands of pounds redecorating his constituency home before “flipping” his allowance to a flat in London
Kitty Ussher asked the Commons authorities to fund extensive refurbishment of her Victorian family home
Keith Vaz claimed £75,500 for a second flat near Parliament even though he already lived just 12 miles from Westminster
Theresa Villiers claimed almost £16,000 in stamp duty and professional fees on expenses when she bought a London flat, even though she already had a house in the capital. She has agreed to stop claiming the second home allowance
Tom Watson and Iain Wright spent £100,000 of taxpayers' money on the London flat they once shared
Steve Webb sold his London flat and bought another nearby, while the taxpayer picked up an £8,400 bill for stamp duty
Shaun Woodward received £100,000 to help pay mortgage
Phil Woolas submitted receipts including comics, nappies and women's clothing as part of his claims for food
Iain Wright and Tom Watson spent £100,000 of taxpayers' money on the London flat they once shared
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Monday, May 11, 2009
A Times Online story by David Leppard and Chris Williams states:
"The Home Secretary has vowed to scrap a 'big brother' database but a bid to spy on us all continues. SPY chiefs are pressing ahead with secret plans to monitor all Internet use and telephone calls in Britain despite an announcement by Jacqui Smith, the home secretary, of a ministerial climbdown over public surveillance."
The rest of the article details plans that are in place for installation of devices that will be mandatory if ISPs want to retain their license.
I believe there are many benefits to be derived from RFID technology. I also believe that when it comes to myself or my property then I it's up to me to choose how these chips are used. Forget railing against the corporations as many do in the youtube comments, the only way my choice will be threatened is through people using force of government.
Friday, May 08, 2009
Either Rudd is lying or John Cobb is lying. For the people who believe in government, one of the supposed stewards of the economy is a liar and the other feels that this isssue is worth wasting time over.
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
Credit: Shaun Micallef and Full Frontal.
Monday, May 04, 2009
Story at the ABC: "New raid laws a 'dangerous' move"
Update 14 May 2009: Managed to get Cartoon of the Week on the John Elliot Report.